Talking to Gamasutra as part of a larger interview to be posted in the near future, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg, director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, has been commenting on Microsoft's attempts to attract casual gamers, suggesting that Wii customers are "going to want to graduate to an Xbox 360 experience" over time.
When asked about Microsoft's initiative to bring more casual gamers to the Xbox 360, and whether it's possible to appeal to 'core' and 'casual' game players in the same box, Greenberg commented specifically:
"Yeah, absolutely. I think that there's a difference in the type of customer that is buying the Wii. When you think about it, there's a difference between trying to be the number one console with nine year old gamers, and being the console that offers the most experiences from 13 to 33.
I think for us, we don't really see the Wii as a direct competitor, we actually very much complement the Wii experience. It's obviously clear that we're going head-to-head with the PS3 in this generation. I think what Xbox will be able to do as well as the Wii is grow the market.
In this generation we're seeing record revenues for the U.S. and globally for the business, and we're seeing more people buying and playing games than ever before, and the Wii is definitely part of that. And as they grow that pie, that benefits us too, because those customers are eventually going to want to graduate to an Xbox 360 experience."
When asked about Nintendo's de-emphasizing of hardware power with the Wii, with Gamasutra's interviewer suggesting that "...if they keep going down this path, they don't really need to make a Wii 2", Microsoft's Greenberg pointedly suggested:
"Everyone says that eventually the novelty will wear off, right? I think that a lot of the people that are buying that console today are not people that have generally bought consoles in the past, right?
You see they're not buying games on it, right? They're buying it, it's like something they break out when people come over, and it's maybe a fun thing, but it's almost like the same people that buy a karaoke machine, you know? They're not really buying it for games, they're just buying it as a novelty."
The full interview with Greenberg, including plenty more detail on Microsoft's thoughts on the state of the industry and plans for the rest of 2008, will debut on Gamasutra in the near future.